RULE for consonants in parentheses: Remember that a consonant in parentheses means that sometimes it is there, and sometimes not. In general, the consonant disappears if it is just before another consonant which is at the end of the word, and the vowel before it gets longer.
Several lessons so far have been discussing verbs
(e.g. the lesson on commands and
simple sentences), but in this one we'll
show you the whole verb layout.
Every verb starts with a root, followed by at least one suffix (verb ending), and usually more than one.
Here's an example:
'You didn't go to finish that song long ago.'
The thematic suffixes (or infixes if you will) come right after the root. They help to define the meaning of the move over, verb. The root plus the thematic suffixes is called the verb theme in Ultan's dissertation.
Let's take the root ʔý,
meaning “move”. Depending on which suffix follows, the nature
of the movement is defined.
To be a complete sentence, this word should have an inflectional suffix too. So we will use the verb final -(i)n on these examples:
Roots like ʔý
have so little intrinsic meaning that they have to carry one or more
thematic suffixes. Other
roots can stand on their own, but would still
take one as needed.
You can also have more than one thematic suffix. (For examples with several suffixes we will use dashes for ease of recognizing the separate components.)
All the examples above are directional suffixes. In Lesson 4 you learned about locational and directional suffixes that showed location or direction with regard to a noun - such as ʔúj-di, 'at the house'. Verbs have their own locational and directional suffixes, focusing on how an action is being done.
There are 26 locative/directional suffixes for verbs! All of them are in Class 3, meaning that except for a few of the suffixes, any other suffixes will come after the directionals. We will not go over all of them here, but we recommend that you look at all of them in the Verb Suffixes chart. Each suffix (verb ending) in the Verb Suffixes chart has an example (sometimes two) with it to help you understand the meaning. Click on the suffix to reveal a popup box with the example. Also, with the popup example is a link to the page of Dr. Ultan's dissertation that has the full explanation of the suffix, and often even more examples to help you get a stronger idea of how it adds to the meaning of the verb.
One of the verb roots for 'run' is jéwo. Using this root, you could add one or more thematic suffixes to add meaning - like 'run habitually' or 'run down'.
After the thematic suffixes are several suffixes about how the subject and object of the verb interact.
Ultan calls these object designators. If you refer to the Verb Suffixes, you'll see that they are all in Class 4, coming right after the locational/directionals of Class 3.
Here are some examples:
REMEMBER that the command suffix is not there if the verb ends in a consonant.
Here are a few more examples:
*Sometimes some pieces have no known meaning. Perhaps. 2.person?
Below are a few other very useful thematic suffixes.
As described in the rule above, the j is gone when the consonant (in this case -p) is at the end of the word, and the vowel before it gets long.
Leland Scott used -ʔós, but other speakers used -bos. Take your pick!
In the case of dó:mep!, the vowel doesn't get long after all, showing that none of these “rules” are really hard and fast. A lot of the variation is due to how fast people speak, and maybe their emotion. dó:mep! is a command, and increased urgency of the command might make it shorter.
There are lots of other thematic suffixes to go through. We will go over many of them in our lessons on Konkow Time and Questions and Negatives. In the meantime, you can explore them all yourselves on the Verb Suffix Chart chart.
Add the appropriate thematic suffix or suffixes on each Konkow verb to make a word that translates the English phrase beside it. Don't forget to add the -(in) verb final to make it a whole word. (Anything in parentheses you don't have to consider.)
Some verbs we've given you in earlier lessons actually have several components. Take these familiar verbs and use dashes to separate off the suffixes. Write the meaning of each of the suffixes. If your new knowledge of the suffixes makes you think there is a better translation for any of these words, put that down too.
Make sure you use a variety of suffixes - different ones for each sentence, and more than one thematic suffix in some of them.
As we saw, a root plus thematic suffixes forms the verb theme, and the inflectional suffixes get attached to the theme (or directly to the root if there are no thematic suffixes).
We have already seen some of the verb suffixes, such as commands (class 16-18), and the verb final suffix, which comes after position 20, and is called a post-fix, meaning that it comes after all the other suffixes we've be talking about.
We will be talking about other inflectional suffixes, including questions, negatives, and person-marking on verbs, in lessons to come.
A fluent speaker thinks in words and sentences, not in pieces of words. As a learner, it's important to know what the pieces are so you can figure out which components you need when you are trying to get an idea across; thinking about the components can also help you understand the meaning of sentences that the speakers uttered back in the 1960's when they were working with Ultan.
- The verb starts with a root, followed by at least one suffix, and usually more.
- There are two types of suffixes:
- Thematic suffixes, that are close to the root, and help to define the meaning of the verb;
- Inflectional suffixes, which come after the thematic suffixes.
- The thematic suffixes we presented here included
- Directionals: There are 26
directionals. We presented 6 common ones:
- -k'o(j) along in some direction
- -toto around
- -sip outward, out of and up
- -c'o aside, over the edge
- -je:, -jeh (move) about, continuous motion
- -paj toward
- The rest can be found in the VERB SUFFIX CHART
- Object designators: These are about how two people
or other entities interact. We present 4 of these:
- -ti cause; cause something to happen; do for someone
- -ʔòmis reflexive; do to oneself
- -to reciprocal: do to or with each other; make two objects or actions happen
- -toto doubled (reduplicated) form of -to
- Other important thematic suffixes
- -jo iterative; doing something over and over
- ¬do(j) begin; to begin doing something
- -(b)os finish; to finish doing something
- -me(h) negative; not do
- -k'i(t) future; will do
- Directionals: There are 26 directionals. We presented 6 common ones:
Rule for consonants in parentheses: A consonant in parentheses means that sometimes it is there, and sometimes not. In general, the consonant disappears if it is just before another consonant which is at the end of the word, and the vowel before it gets longer.
- Inflectional suffixes come after the thematic suffixes. They include some components we have already discussed, including imperatives (commands), person-marking, and the verb.final
- The verb.final is a postfix, meaning it comes after all the other 20 positions of verb classes.
- We will discuss other verb suffixes in more detail in future lessons.
Want to learn more? All the Mary Jones videos lessons are available HERE